In this article, we dive into the 7 best free fitness apps. We looked for apps which will turbocharge your health and fitness, are available at no charge and are available on both Android and iOS – ensuring this list is applicable for as many Burntech readers as possible. Lets go and find some great apps!
The combination of great new hardware, such as smartwatches and fitness bands have been credited with transforming the health and fitness landscape. However, in reality, when it comes to these devices usefulness – most of the value is really tied up in their companion apps. Its these that make or break a bit of fit-tech. There are now literally thousands of fitness apps in the market, so today we have decided to dial it in, and locate the 10 best fitness apps for 2016.
We all know that January sees a huge spike in gym memberships and peoples propensity to train in general. After the festivities of Christmas, it is time to start anew, and to lose those spare pounds. Below are the best apps to help you achieve this, whether in the early new year or any other time of the year. Lets dive in.
Nike have been synonymous with fitness technology since virtually launching the sector with their revolutionary Nike Fuelband+. This product was the very basis of the revolution which followed, the basis on the back of which Fitbit, Misfit and Jawbone built their prodigious businesses. Nike may have pulled out of the hardware space, but their partnership with Apple – baking them into IOS – plus their prodigious app presence means they’re very much still in the game.
Nike foresaw the fitness movement being more software than hardware. We all already own smartphones which have the capability to do all of the tracking which we would expect from a fitness band, plus smartphones are so ubiquitous that we are always going to own them and carry them around with us. So Nike focussed on the software space, plus partnerships with the hardware vendors that could get their apps seen and used. The Nike+ training club is the result of this.
So what do you get with the Nike+ training club? Well firstly, you get over 100 workouts crafted by the experts that run the Nike training centres globally. These centres became slightly toxic earlier this year when linked with drugs cheating in sport, but they remain highly sophisticated training centres used to pump out olympic champions. So we can certainly learn from them.
The app starts by helping you to identify your workout goals, with options including ‘get lean’ and ‘get strong’. You then select your workout level, which is based on how often you workout. So if you workout 3-5+ times a week, then your advanced. If you’re regime is more like 3-5 times a month, then you’re a beginner. The app then spits out a load of different workouts from its library of over 100, with full video based instruction.
Its basically your PT, but powered by science and with the back-up of your friends for motivation. This is all part of the Nike training club, which includes professional athletes as well as your mates. This all links with the old concept behind the Nike Fuelband – the Fuelpoints, which help to standardise your behaviours into a currency other than calories – in other words normalising it in order to make sense of it.
Fitnet – 5 minute personalised fitness
Fitnet is a fitness app which has been gaining immense popularity amongst the ‘mummy fitness’ crowd – and its easy to see why. The entire premise of the app is delivering 5 minute workouts, and the theory is that everybody – and we mean everybody – has 5 minutes in their day that they can dedicate towards becoming fitter and healthier, right?
However, short workouts are one thing, but that’s nowhere near smart enough to make a Burntech list of the best fitness apps for 2016. Where this app gets smart is in its use of your smartphones camera in order to measure how well you actually execute a workout and the exercises within it.
When we ran our story earlier this year looking at Hollywood’s best personal trainers, asking them their best tips that they use to get their client ‘movie worthy’ quickly, it was amazing just how execution orientated their tips were. The moral of the story is that exercise execution is as important as exercise selection. It really is the HOW we do them that count, and that’s why many of us spend a veritable fortune on personal trainers. This app aims to replace your PT.
Or maybe not. As it is real verified PTs who provide the exercise feedback to you. So you get the value of a great PT, without having to pay full price for an hour of their time. The PT will still give you impartial advice, keep you accountable and create custom workout plans for you – in other words, the PT will do all of the things that make a good PT a good investment.
I also loved how this app dives into lesser known but brilliant training methodologies, like Tabata. These short but hard workouts work – big-time – and any app that helps expose them to the wider fitness general-public, is a BurnTech winner.
Sworkit – High Intensity body weight workouts
Another ‘fit in five minutes’ app, which helps you focus your fitness on either CV, weights, stretching or yoga, but the real winner on this app is the intelligent ‘no-gym needed’ body weight focused training.
Bodyweight workouts are in-vogue, and some personal trainers have been having incredible results with them. We’ve been following this ‘de-bunked with Dr. Siva’ series on trainable.co, an interesting series which covers different fitness fads, and it starting point is the results that you can get from body weight only training. The results are good, and that’s coming from credible PTs and is backed up by doctor certified measurements.
So bodyweight workouts work, but they’re pretty tough to negotiate your way around – which is where Sworkit comes in. It identifies a whole raft of ‘no equipment needed’ workouts, all demonstrated by certified personal trainers.
PumpUp – Instagram meets Facebook for the selfie sharing posse
The power of social media is very real, but for those not so interested in workouts, your #BeastMode session may fall on death ears. It may also get you muted on Facebook. This is where PumpUp comes in – an app which aims to harvest the positivity of social media, whilst eliminating the negativity.
It brings all of the good bits – the community, the sharing, the pictures, but without the snide remarks and the accusations that often come from wider social media. This is a social network for fitness folks, and its gaining traction quickly. With other 2m members form 151 countries, the app is gaining momentum and is clearly helping people drive results. The supportive native of this isolated ecosystem lets you share your fitness results without looking like a d***
MapMyFitness – The ubiquitous running app continues to dominate any best app list
MapMyFitness were one of the front runners in this space, and continue to thrive. Having started out as a virally popular route tracker with food logging, the company got acquired by Under Armours ‘connected fitness’ range. The app has continued to grow on the back of the sheer weight of big data going through the platform – after years of data collection, the service is now able to make some seriously intelligent routes around many of the worlds biggest cities. Download it for free on iOS and Android
MyFitnessPal – this popular free fitness app remains the best food tracker on the market going into 2016
Did you know that its medically proven that keeping a food diary helps you to double your weight loss? That’s because of the sheer volume of ‘hidden calories’ found across so many seemingly clean foods. MyFitnessPal helps you to identify these, and where necessary bin them. Having won press from the likes of the BBC, HuffPo and a range of other tier one publications, this remains the daddy of food loggers. Download it here for free iOS and Android